Google’s recent acquisitions have flooded the news lately, and for good reason. As a company they’ve quickly become the top deal maker, but that doesn’t just include acquisitions or mergers either, it also includes financially backing new startup companies and ventures as well. These sorts of deals have spelled all kinds of good things for Google over the years, which is why their list has continued to grow longer every year. Don Harrison is part of that reason, and as the head of mergers and acquisitions (M&A) at Google he’s been helping drive the company to success when it comes to buying and selling companies like Motorola, and investing into new technologies like Nest. Harrison came on board as the head of mergers and acquisitions a year ago, and is now the vice president of corporate development at Google, meaning he’s got a lot of say in what the future of the company looks like. Fortune just completed an interview with Harrison and it reveals some interesting tidbits about the future of Google and how things are going to look from here on out.
First off Google’s CEO Larry Page is highly interested in continuing an aggressive M&A strategy, meaning we’re likely to see Google buy more companies like Waze and Nest and integrate them into current products and services quickly. Google’s most recent transaction might have been Nest, but Motorola made the biggest news so far this year of their business decisions. While it may have seemed like financial suicide to some, Don Harrison points out that it was actually a success for Google, as they ended up with all the Motorola patents for somewhere between $2.5 and $3.5 billion. These sorts of deals will continue says Harrison, and Google is constantly looking for companies doing new and interesting things to push tech forward.
Google isn’t just focused on new mobile or search technology though, they are looking to continue to expand in other areas of our lives like the medical field or home automation. Google’s famous Google X division comes up with all sorts of interesting products, and while it seems likely that a unique acquisition would be rolled into this division, Don Harrison says that most of them become new product areas at Google HQ instead. Google Ventures is a new wing for Google that works independently of the company, providing a different avenue to make deals with and get the best deal possible for the company being bought, not necessarily Google itself. Google’s view of M&A’s pan out one of three different ways: to move into an industry or product line that Google deems interesting or important and hasn’t moved into yet, to absorb talent into their own fold, or to just enhance a product or service they already have on the market. We can expect more transactions like the one with Motorola from Google, and it’s going to continue to be interesting to see what the tech giant with seemingly unlimited money does in the future.